Jay Coll: 'He will truly be missed': Flipped vehicle takes life of a goat farmer
MILLERTON â€” Another farm tragedy hit the Tri-state region last week, when the 47-year-old manager of the Four Brothers Dairy Goat Farm in Millerton died after a vehicle he was riding flipped over.
A similar incident occurred last summer when a Cornwall resident died while mowing an overgrown field on his property. He fell from his vintage tractor, which was pulling a field mower, and fell under the vehicle.
The incident last week involved Jay Coll, who had worked since 1994 on the McGhee Hill Road dairy farm owned by Peter Stefanopoulos (an owner of the Four Brothers restaurant chain as well as the Boathouse in Lakeville).
On May 17, Coll was riding an ATV up a hill on the farm when the vehicle flipped over and landed on top of him.
Coll was known in the community as someone who would always step in with a helping hand.
â€œThe best way I would describe him from talking to everybody is that he always had a smile on his face,â€ said his sister, Jennifer Coll. â€œHe would help anybody or any of the farmers with anything in town.â€
Coll and her sister, Kari-Jo Parisi, were in town this week making arrangements.
â€œWe heard great stories of how he helped people,â€ Coll said of her brother. â€œHe loved when kids would stop by the goat farm. He would stop what he was doing and take the time to show them around.â€
â€œWe always called him â€˜Jaybird,â€™â€ said Talk of the Towne Deli co-owner Sandy Sherman. â€œHe was like family to us.
â€œHe was there every day, and if he didnâ€™t show we were out looking for him.â€
â€œHe had a heart of gold,â€ said NASCAR Dave MacMillan, a local radio personality and founder of the annual Sunday in the Country Food Drive. â€œEverybody knew him. He helped out all the local farmers in need. Personally for me, he volunteered to come and burn wood to help subsidize the heat in our house. He cut up all the wood to split. He had a heart of gold.â€
MacMillan and farmer Jim Perotti have already raised $1,300 to purchase a memorial boulder in Collâ€™s memory. It will rest in a special memorial garden at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. There will be a ceremony later this summer. Any money left over will be donated to the Junior Holstein Association Club.
â€œWeâ€™re just gonna miss him,â€ Sherman added, saying that Collâ€™s sisters had stopped by the deli with a picture of him that will be hung on the deliâ€™s wall. â€œHe was a great guy. He always had a smile on his face and he will truly be missed.â€